Trade Sexual Health

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and trans communities of Leicester,
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Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU)

Non-specific urethritis is the inflammation of a man's urethra. The urethra is the tube down the middle of the penis that carries urine out of the body.

Non-specific urethritis can be caused by:

  • A bacteria, the most common being chlamydia
  • Slight damage to the urethra or the end of the penis
  • Chemicals, such as those in soap water, which may irritate the urethra
  • Lots of sex or wanking causing irritation to the urethra


Symptoms of NSU can be:

  • Drops of white liquid on the end of the penis (a discharge)
  • A burning pain when passing urine
  • Feeling as if you need to urinate more than usual

Most men who have NSU do not get any symptoms.

How is it transmitted?

You can get NSU through having unprotected sex. It is easily passed on through penetrative vaginal or anal sex without a condom. It can be passed through oral sex and on fingers from the vagina or anus to the penis.

Do you think you may have NSU?

If you think you have NSU you can go to your nearest GUM clinic. You can also visit your local or family doctor (GP). The GUM clinic is not allowed by law to tell anybody of your appointment, but your GP is.


The doctor will test you for NSU by taking a urine sample or a small sample with cotton wool or a swab. Swabs are usually taken from the tip of the penis. Having a swab is not painful but may feel uncomfortable.


If you have NSU it is usually very easy to get rid of it with a course of antibiotics: you have to take all the medication to cure the NSU.

No-one is immune to NSU, if you’ve had it before you may get it again.

Why is treatment important?

It is important to get rid of NSU, if left untreated it can cause serious damage to your testicles (known as epididymitis), arthritis or prostatitis (long-term inflammation within the anus).

Protect yourself and others

Using a condom can help protect against NSU. Remember too that using a condom will protect you against getting or passing on other sexually transmitted infections. Dental dams can also be used during oral sex and rimming for safer sex. You can order free safer sex packs from Trade here.

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